Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Fourteen Guidelines of Engaged Buddhism

(Courtesy of Steven White. These first five are some of best words of advice I have ever seen... notice these are "guidelines," instead of "commandments.")

The Fourteen Guidelines of Engaged Buddhism
Thich Nhat Hanh
From the Book Interbeing (1993)
A View on Buddhism

Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others' viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrow-mindedness.

Do not avoid suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including personal contact, visits, images and sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.

Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.

To Read the Other 9 Precepts

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great list. Thanks for sharing that!